Policy Update - October 24, 2014

Selected News from the NSAC Weekly Roundup!

NSAC Helps Deliver Soil Health Vision Statement to USDA
On Friday, October 17, more than 40 national organizations, companies, and foundations delivered a joint vision statement for soil health and cover crops to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition joined with the National Association of Conservation Districts and American Soybean Association to issue a press release and deliver the letter to USDA on behalf of all 41 signatories...
NSAC Member Organizations Receive Rural Business Enterprise Grants from USDA
 On Tuesday, October 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced 50 new Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) for the 2014 fiscal year, including awards for two NSAC member organizations.  Practical Farmers of Iowa and National Hmong American Farmers each received RBEG awards from USDA’s
Rural Development agency.  The announcement follows an earlier wave of RBEG awards unveiled last month....
Program Roundup - SARE Funding Available for On-Farm Research Projects
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) is a farmer driven research and education competitive grants program designed to help advance sustainable agriculture across the whole of American agriculture.  North Central, Northeastern, Western, and Southern regional councils individually set SARE policies and make grants in each region....
USDA Creates New Website for Climate Hubs
On Wednesday, October 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a new website dedicated to its regional climate change “hubs,” which the Department created in 2013.  USDA maintains seven hubs–Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northern Plains, Southern Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast–and three
sub-hubs–Caribbean, Northern Forests, and California....
EPA Review Board Backs Scientific Basis for Proposed "Waters of the U.S." Rule
On Thursday, October 23, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board released its 103-page review of the agency’s hydrology connectivity report.  The report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, reviews and synthesizes hydrology literature and is largely the scientific basis for the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule to define “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act....

Potluck News


  • Food Safety Moderation Act Rule: Next Steps
    The comment period for all of FDA's revised rules is open. Prepare yourself for action!
  • Fighting for Livestock Farmers' Rights
    Which NE politicians have stood up for our region's farmers. What are we doing to help?
  • A Model Network: NSAC
    Managing Director Jeremy Emmi shares insights into the source of NSAC’s strength.
  • Calling for Ag & Food Research Reforms
    National Research Council's new report calls for more funding and major changes to AFRI.



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Map of the Month: Farm Loss, 2007-2012

Each red dot on this Census of Agriculture map represents 20 farms that are no more, and each blue dot represents 20 new farms. In just five years, the US experienced a net loss of 90,000 farms. (Download as a PDF to magnify.)


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